Elon Musk – Ashlee Vance

Elon Musk - Ashlee Vance

The only thing that makes sense to do is strive for a greater collective enlightenment. Elon Musk.

I really like computer games, but then if I made really great computer games, how much effect would that have on the world, it wouldn’t have a big effect. Even though I have an intrinsic love of video games, I couldn’t bring myself to do that as a career.

That is part of what separates Elon from mere mortals, he is willing to take an insane amount of personal risk. When you do a deal like that, it either pays off or you end up in a bus shelter somewhere.

He vented about this in the factory one night, unaware that Musk stood nearby and could hear everything. Two hours later Mary Beth Brown appeared with an appointment card to see a Lasik eye surgery specialist. When Hollman visited the doctor, he discovered that Musk had already agreed to pay for the surgery. “Elon can be very demanding, but he will make sure the obstacles in your way are removed”
One of my favorite things about Elon is his ability to make enormous decisions very quickly. That is still how it works today.

We are trying to have a really big impact on the space industry. If the rules are such that you can’t make progress, then you have to fight the rules.

Miracles Happen – Mary Kay Ash

Miracles Happen - Mary Kay Ash

Sadly, most people live and die with their music still unplayed. They never dare to try. Why? Because the lack of self confidence.  Women, specially, have so much potential they never tap.

I have found that successful people are never afraid to try, because they are never afraid to try.  One of my favorite expressions is “we fail forward to success”.

I believe you can have anything you want in this world, but yes, you do have to pay a price.

Recognition was as vital to me as money. I believed that even if they would not work that hard for money, there were women who would work very hard for recognition.  Because I wanted a company that utilized the best elements of competition, I carefully avoided contests in which there could be only one, two, or three winners. I am convinced that competition is more productive when you are competing with yourself. So at Mary Kay cosmetics, everyone can be a winner!

Symbols should be both pretty and useful.

We use the “Go-Give”principle when we teach our consultants the art of customer relations. We constantly stress that a Consultant must never have dollar signs in her eyes or think “How much can I sell these people today?” Instead she must think “What can I do today so these women will leave feeling better about themselves ? How can I help each woman develop a more positive self image?” We know that if a woman feels pretty on the inside, she becomes prettier on the inside, too. In addition she goes to become a better member of her family and of her community.

Another problem I intended to avoid is when people buy their products but only receive them 2-3 weeks after the purchase.  When I want something I want it now!

Many excellent sales representatives are lost, not because they are dishonest but because they are poor money managers.  May answer was to deal in cash.

We were ready for business, if we didn’t succeed, I knew I would be back working for someone for the rest of my life.

I stress that no matter how successful you are in your career, if you lose your family in the process of attaining that success, then you have failed.  Money is not worth sacrificing your family.

Early risings make an extra day a week. Then I realized that if I got up early six times a week, I’d have a nine day week!

If you are going to waste a day, just waste the living daylights out of it.  But if you are going to work, then work!  One intense hour of work is worth a dreamy day.

The world is full of people that are very quick to dream, but very slow to act.

No matter what you do, or how restricted your time is, you should always make the effort to look  your best. After all, you only get one chance to make a good first impression.

If you give somebody a forty cent item in a $1 box with $100 worth of recognition, that is a thousand times more effective than giving a $100 item in the same box with forty cents of recognition!

No matter how much profit a company makes, if it doesn’t enrich the lives of its people, that company has failed.

Firsts Steps to Wealth – Dani Johnson

Interested? Check it on Amazon: http://amzn.to/1Id4a0O

Whatever wealth you think you want or need, getting it requires something I call TEEM: Time, Energy, Effort, and Money.

I somehow felt compelled to reach out to this woman. I wanted to know why she was working at McDonald’s. Initially I imagined it was because she wanted to work, or maybe she was bored in her retirement age and wanted something to get her out of the house. But when I saw her resting after wiping each table, I quickly tossed out those assumptions and decided to start up a conversation. I went over, sat next to her, and said in a soft voice, “Hi.” She smiled at me and said, “Well, hello there, honey.” Her sweet smile and gentle-yet-raspy voice touched my heart. After a few minutes of chitchat, I had to ask a question. “How long have you worked here?” “Oh, for a little while,” she said. “Do you like what you do?” “Well, honey, I am just glad to have a job.” “Really? Why is that?” “Social Security and my husband’s pension just is not enough to live on, so I have to work.” “What? Are you kidding me?” “No, sweetheart. I wish I was.” “If you don’t mind, can I ask you a personal question?” “Sure.” “How old are you?” She sighed and chuckled before saying, “I am eighty-nine and will be ninety next month.” Tears welled up my eyes as I heard this. I was so upset at this injustice! I wanted to tell her to quit her job right then and there so I could support her and her husband financially.

Then the reality set in. I could barely take care of myself, let alone this sweet, elderly couple. Where were their kids and grand kids? Who was letting her work like that? What kind of a family did they have? There I was, twenty years old and looking at my possible future.

Now, back to that shocking information that I had learned briefly before meeting the McDonald’s lady. It was a statistic that 98 percent of the population will end up dead or dead broke by age sixty-five. Let me repeat that: 98 percent of the population will end up dead or dead broke by age sixty-five. Only 2 percent of the population will succeed financially.

As I have travelled around the world I have encountered scenarios similar to the McDonald’s lady’s time and again – people living life by default instead of by design, and working breathlessly hard throughout their lives only to end up broke at the end of their race.

Ninety-eight percent of the people I come across are miserable. They put on a game face to convince themselves and others that everything is okay, but it is not. They are working too hard, they are maxed out on credit cards, their marriages are unhappy, and they do not know how to handle their children. They are filled with regret and confusion and do not know how to fix the situation. They have no clue what the end of their path even looks like, let alone how to get there.

Number one, he said, “If you give me one excuse, I will not work with you.” Since that time – in the twenty-two years of being in business and working with tens of thousands of people from all over the world – I have found that people spend more time creating excuses than they do creating results. They spend more time justifying their failures and mediocrity than they do creating results. It takes so little time to create results, but most people spend more time coming up with excuses instead of creating results. Let me give you the definition of an excuse: a well-planned lie. 

At one point I was in a meeting with a man who was making $500,000 a month. It was a private board meeting with several men who were all making a lot of money, and they were sharing ideas. I thought it was an invitation to share ideas, so I piped up and said, “Hey, listen, I have an idea.” He slammed his hand on the table and said, “You are so stupid.” My blood started to boil, but I kept quiet. “How much money do you make?” he asked. “I am just getting started, sir,” I said. “How much money do I make?” “Half a million dollars a month.” “That is what’s wrong with you 98 Percenters,” he said. “You are so busy trying to size yourself up to my success that you’re missing the opportunity to learn from me. If I pay attention to your ideas, I am going to go broke just like you. If you pay attention to my ideas, you have a chance of making half a million dollars a month.”

How do you want to live? It’s up to you. Do not live your life by default – live it by design.

The media sold us the fantasy that buying is the way to be successful and wealthy. The part they did not tell us, though, was the pain, stress, and emptiness “stuff” brings. Or the money and time it takes to maintain and clean the five-bedroom house with six bathrooms. They didn’t tell us about the burden of debt and the stress it causes on a marriage. There is a lot of pressure that goes along with keeping up with “the Joneses.”

Here is a real easy rule of thumb for success and creating wealth. Find out what everyone else is doing and do the exact opposite. The masses historically are wrong, so go in the other direction.

I have a holistic approach to wealth. True wealth to me is accumulating money without sacrificing your marriage, kids, health, or fun.

I have discovered three things you need to know about money: • How to make it and more of it • How to keep it • How to turn it into your slave.

Money is always looking for a place to go. If you do not direct it, your money will get sucked into department stores, grocery stores, and the Internet. It will be sucked into those companies’ bank accounts instead of remaining in your bank account.

Will you be part of the 98 percent who are dead or broke at age sixty-five? Or part of the 2 percent who are living a wealthy, successful, favored life?

So what is your specialty? Is it gossip? Do you specialize in excuses? Sports stats, collecting fashion magazines, junk food, watching TV, Tweeting? Your specialty is where you spend your time. Unfortunately, 98 percent of the population spends its time specializing in things that don’t lead to wealth or happiness.

When you are an entrepreneur, you get paid for results. You do not get paid for time wasted with unproductive feelings.

Desire always reveals design and destiny. An eagle was designed to soar, and it has the desire to soar. The eagle was perfectly designed for it to soar. It was not designed like a chicken. It doesn’t have the desire to cluck around on the ground with a destiny of being deep-fried. Its destiny is soaring. Is the baby eagle designed with a skill to soar? Absolutely not. The baby eagle has to get on the momma eagle’s back and the momma eagle takes the baby soaring. Then the momma eagle tilts her wings and drops the baby off her back. That baby eagle flutters and, I am sure, has a heart that pumps incredibly fast. It works hard, yet it does not soar. It sinks fast in the air. But have no fear. Momma eagle swoops down, lifts the baby onto her back, and then soars up. She tilts her wings and lets the baby off her back again. She does this repeatedly, day after day, until the baby has the skill to fly.

Ego Keeps You Broke, Ego will render you broke for the rest of your life. Ego says, “That is not me” or “Gosh, I would never do a business like that” or “What would my friends think if I was doing something like that?” Ego says it is everybody else’s fault and takes no responsibility. Ego focuses on everybody else’s failures and not your own. Ego wants somebody else to pay for how you feel and somebody else to admit they were wrong.

Make a commitment to stop hurting people and to be someone who is building people up and creating good relationships. Be a source to other people. Be part of a rare breed of people who is achieving success and wealth while honoring others.

Why is it impossible to succeed without the Law of Forgiveness? Because there is one guarantee in life: We are going to face troubles with other human beings. So to succeed in life, in relationships, or in business, you have to know how to deal with people.

I had that sick feeling that I was supposed to do something I did not want to do. I knew it was the thing I was supposed to do, but I did not like the answer. I had to weigh my ego against my bank account. Desperation was not going to afford me the luxury of spending a year looking for the right business. I wanted desperately to be no longer homeless or a failure. I needed to change my life.

If I had ignored that weight-loss box in the back seat of my car and searched for something else to do, I do not know where I would be today. I am so glad that I was desperate and did not have time to be picky or to “find” my passion. I did what was in front of me, working with excellence and diligence. It was clearly worth it!

Then I had heard a voice say, “If you can be faithful with what I have given to you – Hans and the kids – then I will multiply your efforts.”

I have a question for you. Where is your focus today? When you are sitting at your place of work, whether you own the place or you work for someone else, where is your focus when you are at work? Are you answering personal phone calls? Are you texting? Are you Facebooking? Tweeting? Are you searching the Internet? Are you IM-ing – sending instant messages to – friends and forwarding joke e-mails to your office and personal friends? If you are doing any of those things, your focus is split in many different directions and you are not using the Law of Focus to your benefit. You would be amazed at how much more you can get done in your life when you focus.

The Law of Promotion is not just associated with influence and money, but it does correlate with time. If you waste time, you lose it forever. Time is something you never get back again, and it is more valuable than money. If you’re not faithful with your time, your life spins out of control. Your life gets sucked into destruction. Your life gets trapped in an unproductive cycle that destroys your confidence and eventually leads to depression. However, if you are faithful with your time and if you focus, you will be given more.

It is not always the products and services that make people happy. It is the relationship you have with them that makes them happy about being your client. How they feel about it is more important than the product itself. People are not loyal to the products, they are loyal to the people. If they like you, they will do business with you. If they do not like you, they will do business with somebody else.

If you want to be wealthy, you have to know how to sell. But selling is not about trying to get people to like you or buy your products; it is about building relationships and growing your influence. It is about honoring people around you. It is about making people feel valued. Influence is where sales take place.

It is so easy to influence people. It boils down to this simple thing: Give people what they want. What do people want? Everybody wants to feel special. Every human we pass by every single day wants to feel valued. They want to know they matter to somebody. It is easy to gain influence in another person’s life simply by valuing him or her.

Treat everyone like he or she is a friend. This is a very powerful concept. You are happy to see friends and happy to be with them. So if you treat all people with that same sense that you are happy to see them and you like being around them, the same energy is produced as with being with a friend. That is how you should communicate with every person you encounter. Your attitude toward people makes a huge difference. If you are flying on a plane, your feelings toward the airline will be very different if a flight attendant treats you courteously instead of rudely. We have all been talked to in a way that provokes us to give that bossy broad a dirty look and keep our cell phones on. We have also experienced the ones who are sweet and speak to us in a friendly manner, which makes us want to turn off our cell phones. The “Friends First” concept is simple. Talk to every stranger the way you talk to your friends. Be friendly, warm, and inviting. Use the same tone of voice and make them feel comfortable. This disarms strangers and helps them relax and become interested in you.

You can do this by asking questions using something I call FORM. “F” stands for family. “O” stands for occupation. “R” stands for recreation. And “M” stands for message. Asking people about their family, occupation, and recreation is a way to find out what people are interested in and to show interest in them. So get people talking about those three simple things.

When you are FORMing people, you are specifically looking for their SIGN. It’s not their horoscope – it stands for Strengths, Interests, Goals, and Needs.

You should honor, value, and recognize the people all around you, and act in your job as if you own the place and want the people to stay there. It is a natural progression that they will pick you when a management position opens because you are fair and good. You will have gained the people’s favor.

You cannot influence people or get to high levels of influence if your heart is not in the right place. Eventually, the truth comes out about exactly who you are. You will make decisions that will expose who you are, and what you build will not last. Your business will be shaky. You will not sleep well at night knowing you have manipulated people. You will develop a reputation as being untrustworthy and you will have to bribe people – with gifts or money – to be your friends. If you are going to be wealthy, be a wealthy person with an outrageous reputation for treating everyone well, not just the rich and famous or the important people. Be trustworthy in everything you do.

Instead of trying to get something from someone in return, have the larger view of trying to make a difference in the world and in your community. You will be amazed at the outcome and where it will take you.

I expanded my mindset to influence people not for selfish reasons but because I want them to have a better life.

If you have an appointment with a Sapphire, do not expect him or her to be on time. When you get upset with a Sapphire who is late, it is your fault for getting upset. That’s the way they are wired – love them for their strengths. Tell them thirty minutes earlier than you need them and bring your computer so you can get some work done while you wait. You will wait.

Emeralds can be more productive if they remember it is not about perfection, it is about getting the job done with results and testing the results. Why try to learn everything in advance when you may already have a baseline of skill and things you did not have to learn? You wasted time learning some things you did not need to, but if you test the results, you will see the areas where you need to focus.

Rubies always have to have the next step, a goal, or a challenge in front of them. They constantly have to be moving in a forward direction because that is what they were born to do.

The Law of Promotion means to prosper where you are planted. If you show you can be trusted with what’s in front of you, you will be made ruler of much. A lot of people think they will treat people a certain way when they are successful, or they will give to charity when they are wealthy. But you have to treat people that way now, and you have to give to others now. Invest in your job like it is your own company, and that’s how you will get promoted. Turn where you work into something better than it is. Ninety-eight percent of the population thinks they deserve a raise just for showing up. A raise means an increase – and you get an increase by increasing. You have to get better than when you got there, and you have to make it better. You have to make a difference instead of just sucking up oxygen and expecting a paycheck. Ninety-eight percent of the population wants to find a job that they love, but that is not how it works. If you find a way to love your job now, you will be given more. If you cannot manage your current job, how can you manage a bigger one? If you cannot manage your employees now, how can you manage them if your business grows? One of the basic steps to wealth is to take care of what you already have.

That same message has hit me in many areas of my life, from my marriage to my business: If you cannot respect and honor what you have now, and you do not take care of it, you will never graduate to the next place.

You have the ability to change your environment without changing your physical location. Your environment is in your head. It exudes out of your being. Hating your job never opens the vault to blessing, but it will decrease your production. It will open the door for you to gossip about your boss, to going on Facebook, to e-mailing friends, and to forwarding jokes while you are supposed to be working. Hating your job will cause you to avoid your boss and to avoid the people who are at the top and who need to see your good attitude, your good work, your excellence, and your diligence. Hating your job will never help you to become diligent or proficient or to find shortcuts that will help you raise the company’s revenue or to make you more valuable in the workplace.

Ask yourself every day, “How can I increase my value at the job?” This will happen with communication – communication with the boss and communication with other people. Build a foundation of making yourself incredibly valuable to your job, to the boss, to the company, and to clients. Is your boss frustrated with you, or does your boss feel as though he or she could not live without you? You become valuable to your boss if you get the job done and relieve stress for him or her. But it is more than just getting the job done – it is the working relationship. Do not think of your work as just a job, something you have to do. You are a partner on a team, and you want that team to be successful. When the time is right, sit down with your boss and have a frank conversation. First, thank your boss. Second, practice the Law of Value. Ask your boss: Show me, tell me, and coach me on what I can do better on the job to help this company succeed.

Thank-You Notes: When was the last time you wrote your boss a thank-you card? Learn your boss’s personality so you know how to communicate to your boss.

Many employees are trying to focus on twelve things at the same time: answering text messages, checking their personal e-mail, instant messaging their friends, forwarding e-mail jokes to a couple of co-workers and friends, listening to the news, and checking their Facebook page – all while trying to work. When you have your focus divided in all of these directions, you are totally unproductive.

To get a raise you have to raise your value to the company. There is always a way to make yourself more valuable so your boss wants to pay you more for doing the same thing.

I taught you to honor people by FORMing them – asking about their family, occupation, recreation, and message – as well as asking about their signs – strengths, interests, goals, and needs.

The most common question I get is, “Dani, how did you do it? How did you go from homeless to making millions?” My answer is always the same. I decided never to return to being broke again. I decided not to end up like those who had raised me. I decided not to be the failure everyone said I would be. I decided no longer to be the failure I had become.

When you make a solid decision it is always followed by action, and action leads to success.

If I were a chiropractor, I would say to every potential client, “There are a lot of people who are in pain yet not deadly serious about their health. I am just interviewing for a couple of clients who are truly serious about attaining good, solid health to make sure they are going to go the distance with me. How serious are you about getting your back straightened and living a pain-free, healthy life? I am after your long-term health. I want to get you well so we don’t have to see each other very much.” That is turning the tables on the prospect. They are expecting you to sell to them, so don’t. Make them want you instead. I was no longer selling. I was interviewing, and that’s how you have to think if you are marketing something. You have to interview instead of sell. Selling causes people to guard their wallets. Interviewing causes them to impress you and tell you why they need you, versus your having to tell them why they need you.

There is a philosophy out there of finding something that’s within you, what you would like to do. If I had followed that line of thinking, I would still be homeless. Did I like sales? Heck no. Was I good at it? No. Was it one of my natural-born talents? Oh, my gosh, no! What were my natural-born talents? I didn’t have any!

You do not have to love what you do. Start where you are.

Do something that makes a profit. Or find somebody else’s profitable idea and do that. For example, housekeepers are a dime a dozen. What could you add to make your service a little different from every other service in the area?

Some people go in and out of being teachable. Most people start off unteachable. They say, “I’ve got it all figured out.” But it takes failure to bring people to a place of being teachable. And usually then they only stay teachable until they have a little bit of success. Once they have that little bit of success, they figure they have the rest dialed – until they fail again. So they go on this rollercoaster – and some never get off the rollercoaster to be teachable.

Entrepreneurship is people and finance.

Financial pressure is not a great way to start a business for most people. Some of us can do it. Sometimes it is the financial pressure and the squeezing out on all sides that makes you desperate enough to drop your ego and do whatever it takes to be able to make money. But if you are spending eight thousand dollars a month, you are not there yet because you will start a company and spend the same way you do now.”

This process is the pathway to bigger profits. It has three simple steps: increase exposure, increase conversion, and increase scalability.

Testimonials need to be short, quick, and to the point. They need to be about the results of the product/service and the problem that has been solved for your clients who use it.

You cannot have the attitude that just paying them is enough because people care more about recognition and approval than money. Edifying them makes them feel special and important, and that means more to them than the actual paycheck they receive.

As an employer and would-be employee-preneur, it is also important for you to have systems in place that reward others for their efforts. You want to be able to pay your people well and to have a bonus structure in place that will help motivate your internal team.

I had a massive awakening. My things had consumed my life and I hadn’t even realized it. I saw that I was crippled by greed. I was a slave to money and a slave to recognition. I had grown up in poverty and although I had made millions of dollars, I still had the poverty mentality, which spends everything that is made – and for what?

Wealth is accumulated and then passed down for generations to grow the wealth even bigger. I was accumulating stuff instead of wealth. You kick poverty when you are able to keep the money. It has nothing to do with how much you make. It has everything to do with how much you spend.

Do not pass down debt to your children who will pass it down to their children. Instead, choose to pass down wealth, which is what I believe you were designed to do. Choose to give them the gift of wisdom of accumulating wealth and understanding how money works and the freedom that it brings.

You were designed with wealth in mind. We know that to be true because the Law of Desire states that if you have the desire for wealth, it is because you were given the design to have wealth. You bought this book, First Steps to Wealth, because you have a desire to become wealthy. When the Great Designer put you together, he did so with all that I showed you in Chapter 1. The desire is not for stuff; it is for freedom.

Your monthly income is supposed to grow something, just like a seed, but most people live from paycheck to paycheck, which means they are eating all of their seed. They have nothing to plant and grow. Your seed is supposed to reproduce itself. It is not supposed to be all eaten. But instead, people spend their money on cell phones, televisions, food that goes to waste, and clothes they do not wear left hanging in their closets with tags still on them.

Another question, how did we ever get suckered into financing a depreciating liability?

Ninety-eight percent of the population has lived under a false sense of wealth because we can afford to waste money.

Only 2 percent truly understands wealth. Ninety-eight percent of the population will eat all of their seeds. Money is seed. It is supposed to multiply, and it cannot multiply if you are consuming all of it. You have to stop being a consuming human being and start being an income-producing human being.

Do you know what happened to the money you made in the past five years? Two percent of the population knows exactly where the money goes. Ninety-eight percent of the population doesn’t have a clue.

You have been allotted a certain amount of money every single month. You exchange your skill for that money. This money is the financial territory you are in charge of governing. Let’s say your allotment is two thousand dollars a month. If you are faithful with that two thousand dollars a month, then it is going to good use and you are multiplying the money. When you are multiplying the money, you will be given more financial territory to govern. But if you spend all you make every month, you will not be given more territory. You have to be faithful with the two thousand dollars a month to get four thousand dollars, to get six thousand dollars, to get ten thousand dollars, and to get a hundred thousand dollars a month. Once you realize that this is the financial law and you start playing by the rules, you will start gaining more financial territory and accumulate wealth.

Two percent of the population knows exactly where the money goes. The other 98 percent hasn’t a clue.

The 98 Percenters use credit cards to buy stuff, whereas the 2 Percenters use credit to build wealth.

If you are financially independent, you can have the big house or five Lamborghinis if you want. Live the life you want to live. But if you are in debt, you do not have the right to be shopping at the mall every week.

Your debt-free lifestyle is in your pantry, closet, and garage. You have the money for a dream vacation, but it is wasted in small things.

All debt is based on greed. Your mortgage is also a type of debt. As I said in the last chapter, your mortgage is making the bankers rich, while you are enslaved in debt, paying interest.

Give a dollar for every ten dollars you make, and your needs will always be met. The wealthy use this principle.

Debt is evil. When you have debt, you become a slave to money.

The impoverished spend their money on stuff. Middle-class people spend their money on what they think are assets, but it is really just stuff. The wealthy invest their money on income-producing assets.

Invest in what you know. Investing is all about risk; it is all about calculating and running your numbers. It is about learning new skills.

Do not buy according to ego, but according to what is wise. Buy below your means, not above. Buy an older, small two- or three-bedroom house and rent it for almost double of what your mortgage will be.

I only possess the skills I have because He wrote how to get them. Everything I have talked about in this book came from the Bible.

When I finally came to God, I realized I had been practicing a lot of His principles already, and I did not have to be a pastor to do God’s work. I decided to read the Bible and seek the answers myself. I learned that Abraham was a wealthy businessman, not a pastor or an evangelist. Isaac was also a wealthy businessman, and Moses was a politician and judge. He was not a pastor as we see pastors today. He looked and dressed like an Egyptian and I believe he had tattoos. He would be harshly judged today by many churches in the world that care more about their rules of how to dress and how to look like a “good Christian” than they do about what the Bible really says. Joseph, a former slave, learned how to become an architect and business manager. He managed laborers and did engineering. He was an excellent administrator and had some incredible accounting skills. He was not a pastor. He too looked like an Egyptian with tattoos, short skirts, a wig, and eyeliner. He looked so much like an Egyptian that when his brothers saw him after being separated for many years, they did not recognize him. They thought he was the Egyptian ruler, and in reality he was. These famous men who have been talked about for thousands of years were not the heads of a modern church -those structured buildings and organizations did not exist then. God used everyday average people with professions in the marketplace to develop a people, and He raised up an army that would impact people’s lives for the better. David – the apple of God’s eye, the one God promised that He would establish His kingdom forever – was a political leader, singer, songwriter, military leader, and businessman.

It is almost like your timeline gets synced with God’s. It is the right whisper in your heart at the right time. It is the right voice in your head that gives you the exact answer you were looking for. That voice speaks to you when you train yourself to listen to it and obey. That voice wants to bless you so much that you fall to your knees and thank Him for everything He has done.

Your business and work are also ways to impact people’s lives. What kinds of seeds are you planting there? What will people be saying about you fifty years after you are gone? Will they even know who you are?

Although Hans and I make money in our businesses, our business model has always been about helping other people. We are making a difference not only with our staff and our employees and their families, but also with our clients.

You will never be able to convince your family that your crazy ideas or your new mindset is the way they should be thinking. It is like a crab that is trying to get out of a bucket, and the rest of the crabs try to pull him back down. Some are jealous; some are scared for you – they are overprotective because they do not want you to fail; and some maybe have an inkling that you might succeed and your success will make them look bad. Whatever their motives are, none of that really matters. What matters is this: The only thing that determines success is results. So do not try to convince your friends and family to dig into all of this information and to buy investments or start a business. Get results – they speak louder than anything you can say. When your friends and family see your results, they will be begging for you to show them how. That is how you will get their attention.

 

The Top 10 Distinctions Between Entrepreneurs and Employees – Keith Cameron Smith

The Top 10 Distinctions Between Entrepreneurs and Employees

 

A true entrepreneur adds value to the world and in doing so creates a successful business.

I believe that if you want to impress someone you tell them of your successes, but if you want to impact someone you tell them of your failures.

10:  Entrepreneurs educate themselves more than they entertain themselves.  Employees entertain themselves more than they educate themselves.

Why so many young men and women in the traditional school system have an idea of what they want to be when they are young, but they don’t know ten years later?  I believe the answer is that they have been conditioned to follow orders.  After years of being told what to do, they are asked what they would like to do and they just don’t know.  And you can’t blame them.  Since many of them are not clear on what they want to do, they go to college. They invest years of their time and a lot of money then end up not using their college education and end up in a field that has nothing to do with their schooling. Some may even say they have wasted a lot of time and money by going to college.

Limit your entertainment.  Most of the entertainment in our world is foolishness.  While some can be fun and a momentary release from the pressures of life, much of the entertainment people watch and listen to can cause some of the stress they are experiencing.  Whatever you are consistently putting into your mind is conditioning you for the future you will live.

One of the skills of great entrepreneurs is the ability to network and build relationships… Who do you want to connect with?  How much do you know about their interests?  Educating yourself about the interests of someone you want to build a relationship with is critical.  If there is no common ground, then chances are you won’t build a relationship.

Leadership is influence.  Successful Entrepreneurs are those who have learned how to influence others… You must study and practice the principles of leadership if you want to become a successful entrepreneur.

Inspiration:  True leadership starts with self-leadership.  If you can’t keep yourself inspired, then you can’t inspire others very well.  

Encouragement:  Inspiration usually helps people get started, whereas encouragement usually helps people keep going.

Being discouraged simply means you have lost your focus or changed your focus from what is truly important to you.

 

9:  Entrepreneurs have en empowering perspective of failure.  Employees see failure as bad.

Never take failure personally… Failure is a verb, not a noun.  Failure is just something you do, it is not something you are.

 

8:  Entrepreneurs are solution finders.  Employees are problem solvers.

Employees tend to be problem solvers.  When a problem arises that was not covered in their training, they don’t believe it’s their responsibility to fix it.  Entrepreneurs, on the other hand, know that when a problem arises it’s their responsibility to find a solution so they don’t have to waste time and money with it in the future.

Unsuccessful employees will use the excuse that it’s “not my problem” when they don’t know how to solve it, or maybe they are just unwilling to put forth the effort necessary to find a solution.  Successful entrepreneurs operate from a mindset that says “Even though I don’t know how to solve this problem right now, I can figure it out, and I will find a solution no matter how long it takes or how hard it is”.

Success and failure in almost any endeavour can be tracked back to your daily routine.  Most people think that habits are only about what they do, but the things you don’t do are just as important.  In fact a very simple formula for success is to do more of the things that get you closer to your goals and less of the things that keep you from them.

Most professional problems are the result of system failure not people failure.  SYSTEM:  Save Yourself Stress Time Energy and Money.  To find solutions for problems that keep coming over and over you must create systems.
7:  Entrepreneurs know a little about a lot.  Employees know a lot about a little.

6: Entrepreneurs give and receive praise and correction.  Employees don’t praise and try to avoid correction.

5:  Entrepreneurs say “The buck stops here”.  Employees say “It’s not my fault”.

4:  Entrepreneurs build wealth.   Employees make money.

Time is the most valuable asset you have, it is irreplaceable.  With that knowledge, consider for a moment how much time you exchange for money.  Are you exchanging it wisely?  We all have heard “ time is money “, a deeper revelation is that time is life, and when we waste time we waste our lives.

Because of the relationship between time and life it is important to value money.  Make it a priority to learn to manage your money, because your money represents a portion of your life.  When you spend your money on junk, you are, in a very real sense wasting part of your life.

If you don’t value money then you are not likely to have any.  We don’t accumulate things we don’t value. What if I told my wife she is not important to me?  What if I told my kids they are not important to me?  Would they continue to hang around me? Of course not.  Well, the same is true about your money.

“Son, if you want to be great then you must walk side by side and hand in hand with great people.  If you want to be happy, then be around happy people.  If you want to be a drunk, then hang around drunks.  If you want to be rich, then find out what the poor people do and don’t do that”.


3:  Entrepreneurs fly with eagles.   Employees peck around with chickens.


2:  Entrepreneurs look into the future.  Employees look into the past.

Few people understand the power of vision, and that is why most people are employees, not entrepreneurs.  Very little of value happens without vision.  A good marriage doesn’t just happen without a vision to make it happen.  Good heath doesn’t just happen without a vision to make it happen.  Financial freedom doesn’t just happen without a vision to make it happen.  Vision make things happen.  All great entrepreneurs have vision.  Vision is power, it attracts wisdom.

Life is too short to work on a job you hate.

The surest way to waste your life is to live without a vision.  The surest way to enjoy your life is to create a vision that inspires you, stay focused on it, and run with it.  Chose where you want to go, take consistent steps in that direction, and work towards it relentlessly.  Your future can be something you create or something you hate.  Look to the future through the eyes of faith and see where you want to be five, ten, twenty, forty years from now.


1:  Entrepreneurs take risks because of faith.  Employees play it safe because of fear.

FEAR:  False Evidence Appearing Real.

In my Wisdom Creates Freedom workshop, I teach participants to use a powerful question do deal with fear.  When faced with one of your fears ask yourself “ What do I believe to be true that is not true? ”.  As simple as it may sound it works.

A simple way to increase your faith:  Celebrate your successes.  We have all had successes, and if you look, you will find them throughout your life.  Think back to times where you were successful and celebrate them.

 

 

More Than Enough – Dave Ramsey

More Than Enough - Dave Ramsey

I have realized that the lessons money teaches us are no only financial, they are spiritual; they create new character qualities; and they will improve your relationship with your spouse, family, and loved ones.  After more than five thousand hours of answering financial questions on “The Money Game” I have seen again and again that money is just the method that the Great Teacher has chosen to expose and correct our flaws as well as give us “ataboys” for a job well done.

Do you feel like I am going overboard?  I’m not if you want excellence in your life, relationships, and finances. You see, if you want uncommon results you have to think and do thinks that are uncommon.  If you want things you have never had, you have to do things you have never done.  Vince Lombardi said “The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavour”.

Albert Schweitzer said: “Man must cease attributing his problems to his environment, and learn again to exercise his will, his personal responsibility”.  Enough whining, I am sick of whining… Whining is a sign of lack of character on your part.

When bad stuff happens resist the human urge to blame and instead join the elite group called the doers.

I have had she-bears get violent with me for suggesting that purchasing $178 tennis shoes while the electric bill is not paid is stupid.  There is an old Danish proverb that says if you give a child everything he wants he cries and a pig everything he wants when he grunts you will have a fine pig and a sorry child.

James Baldwin says that children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.

Ready for a test?

  1. What missing or twisted value has been holding me back?
  2. What could I do this week that would give me more connection to my spouse, my child or my best friend?
  3. Are there any ways that I could better show my boss my loyalty tom job and my coworkers?
  4. What activities am I involved in that I could fire myself from that would simplify my life?

Proverbs 9:18 says “Where there is no vision, the people perish” Perish as in die? YES.

The six figure earners all think in five year blocks or more of time. They are very unconcerned about today except for how today is a building block toward their vision, which may not be fully realized for another twenty years.  They think long term in all decisions.  Six figure earners think about the long term implications of every move they make and don’t make those moves unless they move them one step closer to their vision.

Short term thinking is why the poor get poorer.

Vision will make you an investor instead of a consumer; it will make you think ahead five, ten, or twenty years instead of only thinking about today or tomorrow.

Separating your money when you live in a couple only put you in the spiritual and emotional position of separation: You remember, what do you do right before divorce?

Patrick Overton: “When we walk to the edge of all the light we have and take that step into the darkness of the unknown, we must believe that one of two things will happen, there will be something solid for us to stand on, or God will teach us how to fly”.  Hope moves us forward when logic and energy are gone.  Hope is a motivator.

Soup is good for you:  Go to your local homeless shelter and volunteer to serve soup.  Take your mate and your kids with you; it will do the family good to reset the view of reality.

Most folks don’t know what real problems are, and the serving of soup will make you ashamed for having worried about whether there was enough in the budget to gibe Barky the schnauzer a haircut.

*Use a symbol of hope: Be it a light house or something else as a way to raise your chin toward heaven when you lose directions.

Sharon and I have made a pact that nothing major financially will be done without agreement with the other.

So if you are trying to get your wife to share in budgeting and planning you need o treat her with respect.  Try approaching her like this:

  • Honey, I’d really like to have your advice on our budget.
  • We need to think about how we are going to save money, but I cannot do this without you.
  • Our future is important, and both of us need to plan it together.

Andrew Carnegie said: “The average person puts only 25 percent of his energy and ability into his work.  The word takes off its hat to those who put in more than 50 percent, and will stand on its head for those few and far between souls who devote 100 percent”

“What is the first requirement for success?” Thomas Edison was asked. His answer? It is “the ability to apply your physical and mental energies to one problem incessantly without growing weary”. If you get up at 7 AM and go to bed at 11 PM, you have put in sixteen good hours, and it is certain with most men that they have been doing something all the time.  The only trouble is that they do it about a great many things, and I do it about one.  If they took the time in question and applied it in one direction, to one object, they would succeed”.

Focus has the power to create permanent change where nothing else will or can.  You can focus. You can endure anything for a short period of time. Six months, a year, or even eighteen months, compared with the rest of your life it is a very short period of time.  

The mother of more: Momentum.

Voltaire said: “Work keeps us from three evils: boredom, vice, and poverty”.

Work is doing it. Discipline is doing it every day. Diligence is doing it well every day.  Diligence is not just showing up, or just showing up every day; diligence is showing up every day with Excellence.

St. Ambrose said: “Work like it all depends on you and pray like all depends on God”.  Prayer is vital, but God is not in the business of rewarding lazy.

Jim Rohn says: “You will build more wealth if you trick yourself into discipline.  The pain of discipline weighs ounces, but regret weighs tons”

Teach the children: There has never been a child born who gets up every morning, makes his bed, cleans his room and brushes his teeth without instruction.  By removing work from a child’s life you cripple them.

It would be a shame for any of us to have discipline in just one area such as building up wealth and not have the health to enjoy it, the relationships with spouse and family to share it.

Patience is golden because it will increase the satisfaction you take from achieving your goals and desires.  And patience is golden because it is formed from heat much like pure gold is.  To purify gold the goldsmith of old would stoke the fire to bring the gold to a boil, and as the gold boiled the dross, the impurities, would rise to the top. The goldsmith would skim off the junk until he could see himself.  Problems that we face, the heat of life, make the junk come to the surface, and God skims the junk out of our lives until He can look at us and see some of Himself.

A lack of patience causes debt.

Patience is growing up.  Patience knows that one definitions of maturity is learning to delay pleasure.

Patience will cause you to build wealth because you are willing to save and pay cash instead of borrow.  When you don’t have any payments it is easy to save and invest enough to become wealthy in just a few years.

The Goose with the Golden Egg: they were becoming steadily wealthy, then greed kicked in, now they had no goose and no more eggs.

** If you are not listening to your spouse sit down tonight for at least twenty minutes to talk and listen.  Remember to listen even if you don’t care about the curtains she wants to buy.  Chose one night each week when the two of you will forgo TV and listen to each other.  Learn the count-to-five rule.

Try letting the kids plan one Saturday a moth. Yes, you may end up sitting through some activities you’d rather not, but you will not only learn patience, you will also gain years of memories and shared time with your children.

When you have contentment you can easily get out of debt.  When you have contentment you can easily save and invest.  When you are content it changes your giving habits and your relationships.  When you are content it brings an inner strength that will push you into another zone.  You are able to move fast or slow, and you are able to have patience or intensity when you are content.  Contentment is a magnificent personal gift.

Contentment is not apathy and yet we often confuse the two.

What is that causes one couple to be able to prosper on an annual income of $35.000 while the other is heading toward bankruptcy with over $84.000 in yearly income?

*** Juliet Schor in The Overspend American: Research shows that each added hour of TV viewing per week increases the spending by roughly $200 per year.  So an average level of TV watching of fifteen hours per week equals nearly $3.000 extra spent per year!

The Bible says in Proverbs 28:20 “A faithful man will abound with blessings, but he who hastens to be rich will not go unpunished”.  The reason the get get-rich quick folks are punished, usually by losing their riches, is because character is more important than circumstances in the scope of eternity.  Get-rich-quick folks still need to mold their value system into one that can truly find happiness. They are looking for love in all the wrong places, so the punishment is not for the offence off trying to get rich quick, the punishment is a course of correction so that we learn to look for contentment and happiness  where it can really be found.

In order to have deep, abiding contentment in your financial and relationship decisions, you have to reach the pint you just don’t care what “people” think.  I drive a ten year old car with over 150,000 miles on it and I keep it in near perfect condition.

My pastor told me that his father had to walk 6 miles to work, they would come into the home with dust to his knees from the six mile hike, and he would wash and sit down to eat.  Each night they thanked God of honest work.  My pastor said he never once heard them whine about the circumstances.  Where have those men go? Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to walk six miles to work, but where have those men gone?  Those were people of deep character who understood that not having everything was not the end of the world.

Hate is not the opposite of love, apathy is.

Why does “giving” work in the formula for more than enough? Giving works because you are designed to be a giving being.  Your wiring schematic is built for giving.  You are made in God’s image and He is a giver; so that means in order for you to be all you can be you must be a giver too.  Your emotions, spirit psyche and even your chemistry are changed to a higher level when you give.  When you give creativity is enhanced.  When you give, passion, joy and intensity come to you like waves crashing at the seashore.

After one of my seminars a pastor approached me.  He said that in 35 years of ministering a large congregation he had never had a couple file for divorce who gave their Christian tenth of their income.

When you give you are getting maximum horsepower out of your personal design.  People who don’t give are stopped up.

You are planting seeds when you give and when you don’t give.  If you plant nothing, by default you planted weeds.  If you plant corn don’t scratch your head and wonder why you got corn. The earth and life will return to you what you plant in great abundance.  The sad thing is that most people don’t plant and are real confused as to why they get a great crop of weeds.  You must plant on purpose what you want, become a farmer for life.

“Money is a terrible master, but an excellent servant”.  If you want to be a powerful giver you should view your wealth as the goose and give the golden eggs.  If you give away the goose, the golden eggs are gone, and so is your ability to help others.  Those of you who think “those nasty rich people should be made to give up the wealth they have earned” are not only stupid, your shortsightedness kills the goose, and the poor are not really helped.

Many off the wealthy understand it is not a privilege, but instead a great responsibility to have wealth.

Andrew Carnegie said: “surplus wealth is a sacred trust which its possessor is bound to ADMINISTER in his lifetime for the GOOD of the COMMUNITY

This release of emotional ownership is called generosity.  The folks who are able to emotionally release the ownership of stuff and feel more like managers don’t worry as much.  This release of ownership virtually guarantees that as you build wealth you won’t become arrogant.  It is very hard to be arrogant about something you manage for someone else ( God ). Remember that is the emotional position those who have more than enough put themselves in.

Prosperity may be a bigger test than poverty when it comes to exposing your weaknesses.  Fear, worry, selfishness, and arrogance are all some people get with wealth.  People who get it know that a firm grip on the money is not the path to happiness and fulfillment.  True prosperity is not wealth, it is “more than enough”, which can include wealth, but must include the loose holding of that wealth.

 

The Power of Habit – Charles Duhigg

The power of habit
“We’ve done experiments where we trained rats to run down a maze until it was a habit, and then we extinguished the habit by changing the placement of the reward,” Ann Graybiel, a scientist at MIT who oversaw many of the basal ganglia experiments, told me. “Then one day, we’ll put the reward in the old place, and put in the rat, and, by golly, the old habit will reemerge right away. Habits never really disappear. They’re encoded into the structures of our brain, and that’s a huge advantage for us, because it would be awful if we had to relearn how to drive after every vacation. The problem is that your brain can’t tell the difference between bad and good habits, and so if you have a bad one, it’s always lurking there, waiting for the right cues and

This explains why it’s so hard to create exercise habits, for instance, or change what we eat. Once we develop a routine of sitting on the couch, rather than running, or snacking whenever we pass a doughnut box, those patterns always remain inside our heads. By the same rule, though, if we learn to create new neurological routines that overpower those behaviors—if we take control of the habit loop—we can force those bad tendencies into the background,

Every McDonald’s, for instance, looks the same—the company deliberately tries to standardize stores’ architecture and what employees say to customers, so everything is a consistent cue to trigger eating routines.

Claude C. Hopkins

“I made for myself a million dollars on Pepsodent,” Hopkins wrote a few years after the product appeared on shelves. The key, he said, was that he had “learned the right human psychology.” That psychology was grounded in two basic rules: First, find a simple and obvious cue. Second, clearly define the rewards. If you get those elements right, Hopkins promised, it was like magic. Look at Pepsodent: He had identified a cue—tooth film—and a reward—beautiful teeth—that had persuaded millions to start a daily ritual.

Studies of people who have successfully started new exercise routines, for instance, show they are more likely to stick with a workout plan if they choose a specific cue, such as running as soon as they get home from work, and a clear reward, such as a beer or an evening of guilt-free television.2.13 Research on dieting says creating new food habits requires a predetermined cue—such as planning menus in advance—and simple rewards for dieters when they stick to their intentions.2.14

This explains why habits are so powerful: They create neurological cravings. Most of the time, these cravings emerge so gradually that we’re not really aware they exist, so we’re often blind to their influence. But as we associate cues with certain rewards, a subconscious craving emerges in our brains that starts the habit loop spinning.

To understand the power of cravings in creating habits, consider how exercise habits emerge. In 2002 researchers at New MexicoStateUniversity wanted to understand why people habitually exercise.2.28 They studied 266 individuals, most of whom worked out at least three times a week. What they found was that many of them had started running or lifting weights almost on a whim, or because they suddenly had free time or wanted to deal with unexpected stresses in their lives. However, the reason they continued—why it became a habit—was because of a specific reward they started to crave.

If you want to start running each morning, it’s essential that you choose a simple cue (like always lacing up your sneakers before breakfast or leaving your running clothes next to your bed) and a clear reward (such as a midday treat, a sense of accomplishment from recording your miles, or the endorphin rush you get from a jog). But countless studies have shown that a cue and a reward, on their own, aren’t enough for a new habit to last. Only when your brain starts expecting the reward—craving the endorphins or sense of accomplishment—will it become automatic

That craving is an essential part of the formula for creating new habits that Claude Hopkins, the Pepsodent ad man, never recognized.

After Pepsodent started dominating the marketplace, researchers at competing companies scrambled to figure out why. What they found was that customers said that if they forgot to use Pepsodent, they realized their mistake because they missed that cool, tingling sensation in their mouths. They expected—they craved—that slight irritation. If it wasn’t there, their mouths didn’t feel clean.

Anyone can use this basic formula to create habits of her or his own. Want to exercise more? Choose a cue, such as going to the gym as soon as you wake up, and a reward, such as a smoothie after each workout. Then think about that smoothie, or about the endorphin rush you’ll feel. Allow yourself to anticipate the reward. Eventually, that craving will make it easier to push through the gym doors every day. Want

Cravings are what drive habits.

In order to change a habit, you must keep the old cue, and deliver the old reward, but insert a new routine. That’s the rule: If you use the same cue, and provide the same reward, you can shift the routine and change the habit. Almost any behavior can be transformed if the cue and reward stay the same.

Small wins are exactly what they sound like, and are part of how keystone habits create widespread changes. A huge body of research has shown that small wins have enormous power, an influence disproportionate to the accomplishments of the victories themselves. “Small wins are a steady application of a small advantage,” one Cornell professor wrote in 1984. “Once a small win has been accomplished, forces are set in motion that favor another small win.”4.14 Small wins fuel transformative changes by leveraging tiny advantages into patterns that convince people that bigger achievements are within reach.

Small wins are exactly what they sound like, and are part of how keystone habits create widespread changes. A huge body of research has shown that small wins have enormous power, an influence disproportionate to the accomplishments of the victories themselves. “Small wins are a steady application of a small advantage,” one Cornell professor wrote in 1984. “Once a small win has been accomplished, forces are set in motion that favor another small win.” Small wins fuel transformative changes by leveraging tiny advantages into patterns that convince people that bigger achievements are within reach.

“It might have been hard at another company to fire someone who had been there so long,” O’Neill told me. “It wasn’t hard for me. It was clear what our values dictated. He got fired because he didn’t report the incident, and so no one else had the opportunity to learn from it. Not sharing an opportunity to learn is a cardinal sin.”

And the best way to strengthen willpower and give students a leg up, studies indicate, is to make it into a habit. “Sometimes it looks like people with great self-control aren’t working hard—but that’s because they’ve made it automatic,” Angela Duckworth, one of the University of Pennsylvania researchers told me. “Their willpower occurs without them having to think about it.”

“By making people use a little bit of their willpower to ignore cookies, we had put them into a state where they were willing to quit much faster,” Muraven told me. “There’s been more than two hundred studies on this idea since then, and they’ve all found the same thing. Willpower isn’t just a skill. It’s a muscle, like the muscles in your arms or legs, and it gets tired as it works harder, so there’s less power left over for other things.”

“If you want to do something that requires willpower—like going for a run after work—you have to conserve your willpower muscle during the day,” Muraven told me. “If you use it up too early on tedious tasks like writing emails or filling out complicated and boring expense forms, all the strength will be gone by the time you get home.

“When you learn to force yourself to go to the gym or start your homework or eat a salad instead of a hamburger, part of what’s happening is that you’re changing how you think,”

“That’s why signing kids up for piano lessons or sports is so important. It has nothing to do with creating a good musician or a five-year-old soccer star,” said Heatherton. “When you learn to force yourself to practice for an hour or run fifteen laps, you start building self-regulatory strength. A five-year-old who can follow the ball for ten minutes becomes a sixth grader who can start his homework on time.”5.13

“When someone comes up and starts yelling at you because they got the wrong drink, what’s your first reaction?” “I don’t know,” Travis said. “I guess I feel kind of scared. Or angry.” “That’s natural,” his manager said. “But our job is to provide the best customer service, even when the pressure’s on.” The manager flipped open the Starbucks manual, and showed Travis a page that was largely blank. At the top, it read, “When a customer is unhappy, my plan is to … ” “This workbook is for you to imagine unpleasant situations, and write out a plan for responding,” the manager said. “One of the systems we use is called the LATTE method. We Listen to the customer,

Acknowledge their complaint, Take action by solving the problem, Thank them, and then Explain why the problem occurred.5.19 THE LATTE HABIT LOOP “Why don’t you take a few minutes, and write out a plan for dealing with an angry customer. Use the LATTE method. Then we can role-play a little bit.”

Destructive organizational habits can be found within hundreds of industries and at thousands of firms. And almost always, they are the products of thoughtlessness, of leaders who avoid thinking about the culture and so let it develop without guidance. There are no organizations without institutional habits. There are only places where they are deliberately designed, and places where they are created without forethought, so they often grow from rivalries or fear.

There’s a paradox in this observation, of course. How can an organization implement habits that balance authority and, at the same time, choose a person or goal that rises above everyone else? How do nurses and doctors share authority while still making it clear who is in charge? How does a subway system avoid becoming bogged down in turf battles while making sure safety is still a priority, even if that means lines of authority must be redrawn? The answer lies in seizing the same advantage that Tony Dungy encountered when he took over the woeful Bucs and Paul O’Neill discovered when he became CEO of flailing Alcoa. It’s the same opportunity Howard Schultz exploited when he returned to a flagging Starbucks in 2007.

All those leaders seized the possibilities created by a crisis. During turmoil, organizational habits become malleable enough to both assign responsibility and create a more equitable balance of power. Crises are so valuable, in fact, that sometimes it’s worth stirring up a sense of looming catastrophe rather than letting it die down.

A company with dysfunctional habits can’t turn around simply because a leader orders it. Rather, wise executives seek out moments of crisis—or create the perception of crisis—and cultivate the sense that something must change, until everyone is finally ready to overhaul the patterns they live with each day. “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste,” Rahm Emanuel told a conference of chief executives in the wake of the 2008 global financial meltdown, soon after he was appointed as President Obama’s chief of staff. “This crisis provides the opportunity for us to do things that you could not do before.”

Pregnant women and new parents, after all, are the holy grail of retail. There is almost no more profitable, product-hungry, price-insensitive group in existence. It’s not just diapers and wipes. People with infants are so tired that they’ll buy everything they need—juice and toilet paper, socks and magazines—wherever they purchase their bottles and formula. What’s more, if a new parent starts shopping at Target, they’ll keep coming back for years.

“Consumers sometimes act like creatures of habit, automatically repeating past behavior with little regard to current goals,”

Whether selling a new song, a new food, or a new crib, the lesson is the same: If you dress a new something in old habits, it’s easier for the public to accept it.

“Just wait till the baby comes,” Pole said. “We’ll be sending you coupons for things you want before you even know you want them.”

A movement starts because of the social habits of friendship and the strong ties between close acquaintances. It grows because of the habits of a community, and the weak ties that hold neighborhoods and clans together. And it endures because a movement’s leaders give participants new habits that create a fresh sense of identity and a feeling of ownership.

A movement starts because of the social habits of friendship and the strong ties between close acquaintances. It grows because of the habits of a community, and the weak ties that hold neighborhoods and clans together. And it endures because a movement’s leaders give participants new habits that create a fresh sense of identity and a feeling of ownership.

McGavran’s philosophy said that if you teach people to live with Christian habits, they’ll act as Christians without requiring constant guidance and monitoring. Warren couldn’t lead every single small group in person;

“Sleepwalking is a reminder that wake and sleep are not mutually exclusive,” Mark Mahowald, a professor of neurology at the University of Minnesota and a pioneer in understanding sleep behaviors, told me. “The part of your brain that monitors your behavior is asleep, but the parts capable of very complex activities are awake. The problem is that there’s nothing guiding the brain except for basic patterns, your most basic habits. You follow what exists in your head, because you’re not capable of making a choice.”

It is just that Angie Bachmann should be held accountable and that Brian Thomas should go free because Thomas never knew the patterns that drove him to kill existed in the first place—much less that he could master them. Bachmann, on the other hand, was aware of her habits. And once you know a habit exists, you have the responsibility to change it. If she had tried a bit harder, perhaps she could have reined them in. Others have done so, even in the face of greater temptations.

THE FRAMEWORK:

  1. Identify the routine 
  2. Experiment with rewards 
  3. Isolate the cue 
  4. Have a plan

As you test four or five different rewards, you can use an old trick to look for patterns: After each activity, jot down on a piece of paper the first three things that come to mind when you get back to your desk. They can be emotions, random thoughts, reflections on how you’re feeling, or just the first three words that pop into your head. Then, set an alarm on your watch or computer for fifteen minutes. When it goes off, ask yourself: Do you still feel the urge for that cookie?

Put another way, a habit is a formula our brain automatically follows: When I see CUE, I will do ROUTINE in order to get a REWARD. To re-engineer that formula, we need to begin making choices again. And the easiest way to do this, according to study after study, is to have a plan. Within psychology, these plans are known as “implementation intentions.”

The Art of Non Conformity – Chris Guillebeau

Interested? Check it on Amazon: http://amzn.to/1PQGTEs

You can have unlimited dreams and goals, but not unlimited priorities.

Embrace the uncertainty of change.

“I’m willing to do whatever it takes to get out of this situation.” We talked for a while and I gave him a long list of resources. “Will you have time to look at these things soon?” I asked. “Are you kidding?” he replied. “I’ll be going on this stuff for the rest of the afternoon. Then if I have to, I’ll stay up until midnight.”

“They say time changes things, but actually you have to change them yourself.”

Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy. — DALE CARNEGIE.

Create mass accountability. Give yourself a carrot.

On the other hand, despite a stated desire for change and the ability to do basic research, Aaron remained stuck behind the wall of fear. He lived a life of quiet desperation, peeking through to the other side but failing to dismantle the bricks.

We have big dreams and ideas, but we also have big fears. The quest to overcome fear is lifelong, and almost no one is truly fearless. Instead of pretending it doesn’t exist, you have to be willing to smash through the brick wall of fear. You won’t be the first to do it, and what you find on the other side might surprise you. What’s waiting for you on the other side of the wall?

The question is not who is going to let me, it’s who is going to stop me. — AYN RAND

People will always try to stop you from doing the right thing if it is unconventional. — WARREN BUFFETT

Gatekeepers are especially effective at telling you which choices you have, thus giving you the illusion of freedom while simultaneously blocking access to what really matters. It’s like asking, “Would you like a or b?”—without letting you know that c, d, and e are also valid choices.

Why do we do things this way? “Just because.” “Because that’s the way we’ve always done it.” “Because someone said so.” When someone threatens tradition or asks questions, gatekeepers will appeal to a logic based on history, even if their recollection of history is incorrect.

When the underdog adopts an unconventional strategy and changes the rules of the game, the percentage of victory jumps even further, to 63 percent. In other words, when the underdog deploys an unconventional strategy, the underdog is actually favored to win…

…the difference is that in one situation the underdog deliberately changes the rules of the confrontation. Remember that gatekeepers are all about limiting choices (you can have a or b, but not c or d). The underdog strategy looks for alternatives.

Here are some more things that are completely unnecessary for your success:

  • You don’t need experience.
  • You don’t need years of preparation.
  • You don’t need paperwork. Paperwork includes degrees, certificates, endorsements, licenses, recommendations, referrals, and so on.
  • You don’t need a mentor.

It’s not that these things are unhelpful. It’s that they are unnecessary.

  • You need passion.
  • You need a vision and a task.
  • You need the answers to the two most important questions in the universe. What do you really want to get out of life? How can you help others in a way that no one else can?
  • You need commitment to stay the course. Many people give up too early.

 

The gap between ignorance and knowledge is much less than the gap between knowledge and action. —ANONYMOUS.

The Denver TV news anchor who was laid off and started a “Yoga at Work” part-time business for the cost of a $9 domain registration. Within six months she was earning $2,000 a month. • The brick installation company that started when the founder was laid off from a car dealership. He took $18 to Barnes & Noble to buy “some kind of business book,” but ended up buying coffee and looking through books in the café. After a rocky start and a difficult partnership, the business brought in more than $150,000 in its third year. • The “$50 and a bottle of oil” startup that grew to a $6 million business within five years. • The “Retro Razor” project that launched from a Seattle bedroom after the founder ran out of Gillette blades on a trip to Italy (cost: $75.87 for initial inventory). Retro Razor signed up for Amazon.com’s partner

Over and over I hear from employees at stable companies like Google and Microsoft, who begin a long message by saying, “I feel guilty because my friends think I have it made, but I don’t like what I’m doing.” I don’t think these people are ungrateful; if you don’t enjoy the place where you spend most of your waking hours, I don’t see how you have it made.

Like Allan Bacon’s “Life Experiments,” slow and steady change can produce big improvements when done consistently over time. • Some people think self-employment is risky, but the real risk lies in deriving your security from an external source.

Personally, I value learning, but formal education and learning do not always go hand in hand. If your primary goal is to learn instead of to prepare for a career, you may be better off going it alone.

I start with the premise that the function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers. — RALPH NADER

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader. — JOHN QUINCY ADAMS

Instead of selling products, you focus on solving problems.

I’d like to live as a poor man, with lots of money. — PABLO PICASSO

I embrace frugality as a personal value, but frugality for me is not about pinching pennies in every part of my budget. Instead, it’s about making conscious choices to spend on the things I value—and avoid spending on other things.

The way I approach my discretionary spending is outlined below:
1. I happily exchange money for things I truly value.
2. As much as possible, I don’t exchange money for things I don’t value.
3. All things being equal, I value life experiences more than physical possessions.
4. Investing in others is at least as important as my own long-term savings.

Travel is my biggest personal expense, and I regularly spend about 20 percent of my annual income on it. Many people spend 20 percent or more of their income on debt reduction, and I’ve taken great care to ensure I have no debt. If I can’t afford to pay for something in full, I don’t buy it.

Because I know I’ve received a lot from life thus far, I want to make sure I actively give back in the form of investing in others.

To get serious about saving, focus on increasing income more than cutting expenses. This is because cutting expenses is essentially a scarcity behavior, whereas increasing income is essentially an abundance behavior.

Doctors Without Borders: This organization, known around the world by the French name Medecins Sans Frontieres, brings medical teams to war zones, natural disasters, and countries that lack sufficient health care. Learn more at DoctorsWithout Borders.org.

I have enough money to last me the rest of my life, unless I buy something. —JACKIE MASON

If you’re stumped with a travel dilemma, visit the forums at FlyerTalk.com. Some of the experts on these boards are even more experienced than I am, and if you ask nicely, several will offer free advice on your itinerary or travel issue.

If you’re looking for lodging and hotel prices are high, check Hostels.com for a large database of guesthouses and smaller establishments. In addition to dorms, many of the properties offer private rooms with breakfast and Internet access. If you’re up for company, you can also stay for free thanks to CouchSurfing.com.  Priceline.com can be a good source for discounted hotels (it’s not usually worth it for plane tickets), but the company has an advantage on consumers by not disclosing the minimum successful bids. To negate this advantage, use Google to search for “Priceline winning hotel bids” to find several sites that list the hidden information. I’ve used this strategy to stay at the Brussels Marriott for $60 (usually $240), the Prague Sheraton for $45 (usually $195), and many other nice hotels all over the world. • If transatlantic airfare is pricey, look for a repositioning cruise. These cruises take place twice a year as cruise lines move their ships from the Mediterranean to the United States. (A smaller number also go from Alaska to East Asia, and from California to Florida via the Panama Canal.)

Let’s return to the two important questions we looked at briefly earlier: “What do you really want to get out of life?” and “What can you offer the world that no one else can?”

When you set out to create something that will outlast you, there are a number of characteristics you need to consider by answering the following questions:

  • Vision—how will the world be different because of the project?
  • Beneficiaries—who will benefit from the project?
  • Primary Method or Medium—how will you do the work?
  • Output—what will be produced as a result of your work?
  • Metrics—how will success be measured?

Create a continual metric for your most important work.

*** Pamela Slim’s Escape from Cubicle Nation.

ONLINE RESOURCES A few things didn’t make it into the final version of this book. For the much-needed condensing, you can thank my editor Maria, who kept asking, “Does this need to be here? Can you get it out some other way?” It was a good question, so I made a resources page on my website for everything that didn’t make it in here. Among other things, the resources page includes:

• An introduction to travel hacking, including how to earn frequent flyer miles without flying, how to stay for free anywhere in the world, and where you can buy a round-the-world plane ticket
• A worksheet and MP3 audio download on creating the ideal day discussed in chapter 2
• More information on low-budget businesses, including a list of 10 ways to earn money through travel, and 10 businesses you can start for less than $100.

All of this information is free, and you don’t need to register to receive it. Just go to ChrisGuillebeau.com/book for a complete list.

 

How come that idiot’s rich and I’m not? – Robert Shemin


Interested? Check it on Amazon: http://amzn.to/1XtAEpb

Remember, Rich Idiots never think or say “I can’t”.  They ask “How can I ?”.  Take the word Can’t out of your vocabulary.

Real wealth is time. Time to spend with your loved ones. Time to go on a 3 month vacations. Time to give back to those who have less.

Get a wealth talisman – ( Healthy Wealthy Wise )

Forgiveness is the firs step to cleaning out old stuff and making room for new wealth to come pouring in. Forgiveness is a daily cleanser, preparing your spirit for the riches to come.  Also don’t forget to forgive yourself.

My Commit Script:

I commit to filling my life with wealth.
I commit to filling my life with happiness.
I commit to being bold.
I commit to taking positive actions.
I commit to a new result.

The most important goal is: What activity am I going to do today?

Remember: Buy assets first because they bring you money.  Buy liabilities second because they cost you money.

Remember: Money is time, with money you can “buy” time.

What is more important the idea or the execution?  The execution! Everybody has ideas.  You must do something daily to bring you closer to your goals.

Link to book on Amazon: How come that idiot’s rich and I’m not? – Robert Shemin

The Question Behind the Question – QBQ – John Miller

The question behind the question
The Question Behind the Question – John Miller

“When are the customers going to learn to read the menu?” Those are negative questions that do not solve any problem.  We have to make better choices in the moment by making better questions:  “What can I do to make a difference?”

Procrastination is the friend of failure: Let’s take care of the little things while they are still little: “I knew the glass needed to be put away, and doing so would have taken no more than a few minutes.  But I put it off and put it off, until finally it exploded into what could have been a catastrophe”.

“A poor sailor blames the wind”, “A poor worker blames the tools”.

It’s not about “us” vs “them or “why did they overbook the plane?” or “who dropped the ball?”.  The better question is “What can I do right now to make a difference?”

Link to book on Amazon: The Question Behind the Question – John Miller

The Checklist Manifesto – Atul Gawande

The checklist Manifiesto
The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right – Atul Gawande.

The results were so dramatic that they weren’t sure whether to believe them: the ten-day line-infection rate went from 11 percent to zero. So they followed patients for fifteen more months. Only two line infections occurred during the entire period. They calculated that, in this one hospital, the checklist had prevented forty-three infections and eight deaths and saved two million dollars in costs.

Of all organizations, it was oddly enough Wal-Mart that best recognized the complex nature of the circumstances, according to a case study from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. Briefed on what was developing, the giant discount retailer’s chief executive officer, Lee Scott, issued a simple edict. “This company will respond to the level of this disaster,” he was remembered to have said in a meeting with his upper management. “A lot of you are going to have to make decisions above your level. Make the best decision that you can with the information that’s available to you at the time, and, above all, do the right thing.”

No, the real lesson is that under conditions of true complexity—where the knowledge required exceeds that of any individual and unpredictability reigns—efforts to dictate every step from the center will fail. People need room to act and adapt. Yet they cannot succeed as isolated individuals, either—that is anarchy. Instead, they require a seemingly contradictory mix of freedom and expectation—expectation to coordinate, for example, and also to measure progress toward common goals.

When you’re making a checklist, Boorman explained, you have a number of key decisions. You must define a clear pause point at which the checklist is supposed to be used (unless the moment is obvious, like when a warning light goes on or an engine fails). You must decide whether you want a DO-CONFIRM checklist or a READ-DO checklist. With a DO-CONFIRM checklist, he said, team members perform their jobs from memory and experience, often separately. But then they stop. They pause to run the checklist and confirm that everything that was supposed to be done was done. With a READ-DO checklist, on the other hand, people carry out the tasks as they check them off—it’s more like a recipe. So for any new checklist created from scratch, you have to pick the type that makes the most sense for the situation.
The checklist cannot be lengthy. A rule of thumb some use is to keep it to between five and nine items, which is the limit of working memory. Boorman didn’t think one had to be religious on this point.
“It all depends on the context,” he said. “In some situations you have only twenty seconds. In others, you may have several minutes.”
But after about sixty to ninety seconds at a given pause point, the checklist often becomes a distraction from other things. People start “shortcutting.” Steps get missed. So you want to keep the list short by focusing on what he called “the killer items”—the steps that are most dangerous to skip and sometimes overlooked nonetheless. (Data establishing which steps are most critical and how frequently people miss them are highly coveted in aviation, though not always available.)
The wording should be simple and exact, Boorman went on, and use the familiar language of the profession. Even the look of the checklist matters. Ideally, it should fit on one page. It should be free of clutter and unnecessary colors. It should use both uppercase and lowercase text for ease of reading. (He went so far as to recommend using a sans serif type like Helvetica.)